Video by @punikasayshi
A DESIGN INTERVIEW
What was your first job?
I was a dishwasher at a café. I was awful at it but I will never forget that job because I used to come home and I couldn't get the smell of mashed potatoes off of my hands. But guess what? I earned those paychecks!
What was your first design job?
I've been doing design since I was 17. I've been doing little projects for people here and there, I didn't anticipate that it would turn into a career, which was something that I loved doing and it really blossomed over the last years.
I'll never forget the most important design job I did was working with Rachel Zoe. It was when I really realized that I can actually do this and that I believed in myself, and Rachel believed in me as a designer. It was a really powerful gift that she gave me, which I don't even think she knows that she did.
What was the most defining point in your career?
The day that I decided to start my design firm and sold everything that I owned. My car and every item that I had; so I could pay for my LLC, so I could buy a desk. That was a big moment that I will never forget because it was the first time that I made a choice to bet on myself. And it paid off.
What are the questions you ask before every project?
What are the moments that you imagine you and your family having in this space? Where does your day start? And where does it end?
Describe your style in three words.
Clean, sophisticated, layered.
Tips for anyone looking to start a design career?
Bet on yourself. Trust your gut. Research, educate yourself and put the work in. Find somebody that you can work under, whether it's an internship, paid or not paid. There's a lot to learn and there's a lot of amazing people in this field, so listen is my biggest tip. Listen a lot.
I don't think you have to necessarily go to school to be good t what you do, you just have to be good at what you do.
Most admired interior designer?
This shouldn't come as a shock to anyone but Axel Vervoordt is my number one person I think he's profound and amazing. But I love a million people — Giacometti, Brâncusi... I'm really interested in artist, less about designers, I'm fascinated who create and sculpt things out of nothing. That is a talent I have such respect for.
If not a designer, what would you be?
If I wasn't a designer, I would be in politics. I'm obsessed with politics... Which currently is not good for my stress level.
Where do you seek inspiration?
In people that I work with and that I live around.
What is your design philoshophy?
Don't take anything so seriously.
"Less is more"... Is this true?
Less is always more.
Which design rule do you always break?
Every one of them. Honestly, I don't believe in design rules, I don't believe in design philosophies. I believe in creating spaces that feel like an extension of who you are and, more importantly, who you wanna be.
What is your dream project?
My dream project, to be honest, is working on the show with my husband. "Nate and Jeremiah By Design" is this really funny alchemy of getting to work with the person you love and doing the thing you love. And if that's not a dream, then I don't know what is.
What would be the personification of your style?
It would be like Daria meets Matrix meets a lesbian bank robber... I'm kidding that's just the way I dress. I don't know what my design persona would be, I think it changes every year.
How much of your style do you put into a client project?
My goal as a designer is not to put my style on the people I'm working with. It's through the lens of how I look at the world. My job is to translate who those people are into their space. I've worked with people who love turquoise, I don't want turquoise anywhere near me but I can find a way to translate it in a way that's sophisticated and feel like it's an extension of them. That's a good designer, it's a good listener at the end of the day.